Police warn against New Year's gunfire

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The V.I. Police Department issued a statement reminding residents that it is illegal to shoot guns at midnight on New Year's Eve.

Each year in the territory, thousands of rounds of ammunition are discharged at midnight, with the gunfire lasting for more than an hour.

Stray bullets from the fusillade can cause serious injury or death, and residents who are outside at midnight should be aware of the risk.

"I am asking for the full cooperation of all of you in not discharging firearms at midnight on New Year's Eve. First, it is illegal, and second, what goes up must come back down," Police Commissioner Rodney Querrard Sr. said in a prepared statement issued Monday. "We will be monitoring 'Shot Spotters' territorywide closely for all violations of the law reference to the discharging of firearms. We will be recommending full prosecution to the Attorney General's Office for those found to be in violation of the law.

People are killed by bullets that are fired into the air at midnight on New Year's Eve every year in the United States and Puerto Rico, according to Querrard.

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